3rd Mate Unlimited

Career Path Requirements

Looking to obtain your 3rd Mate Unlimited (OICNW > 500 GT II/1) License from the US Coast Guard? Take your courses with Northeast Maritime Institute and follow this guide.

Minimum Age Required

  • 19 years

Sea Service Requirements

  • 1080 days of deck service on Ocean/ Near Coastal or Great Lakes self-propelled vessels, OF WHICH
    • 180 days of bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of the master or a qualified office
    • 180 days of deck service as AB, Boatswain, or Quartermaster, (while holding AB) 90 days of engine department service may be creditable (if service began before March 24. 2014, OR
  • Graduation from a Maritime Academy, OR
  • Satisfactory completion of a three year apprentice mate training program approved by the Coast Guard, OR
  • 360 days as master on vessels of more than 200 GRT upon Ocean/ Near Coastal waters while holding an Officer endorsement as Master less than 1600 Ocean/ Near Coastal (tonnage limitation may apply), OR

NOTE: Service towards an Oceans, NC endorsement will be credited as follows:

  • Service on GL will be credited day for day.
  • Service on inland waters, other than GL, may substitute for up to 50% of the total required service.
  • Service on vessels to which STCW applies (inland or NC) will be credited day for day.

A Master or Mate of GL &/or Inland of AGT, may obtain this endorsement by completing the prescribed examination.

Recency: 90 Days in the past 3 years on vessels of appropriate tonnage

Tonnage Requirements


  • All required service is on vessels over 200 GRT, AND
  • 50% of the required service is on vessels over 1600 GRT


  • Limited to max tonnage on which 25% of experience is obtained, OR
  • Limited to 150% tonnage on which 50% of service spent WHICHEVER IS GREATER.

*(May be issued if 50% of the required service is not on vessels over 1600 GRT; however, ALL required service MUST be on vessels over 200 GRT)

Application Requirements

  • Completed USCG Application including sea service documentation
  • USCG Physical Examination
  • USCG Drug Test
  • Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC)
  • USCG Examinations

Training Requirements

  • STCW Basic Training
  • Radar Observer Unlimited
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) Course
  • Bridge Resource Management
  • Celestial Navigation
  • Medical Care Provider
  • Search and Rescue
  • Terrestrial Navigation
  • Electronic Navigation
  • Watchkeeping
  • Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • Basic Shiphandling
  • Basic Stability and Ship Construction
  • Basic Meteorology
  • Visual Signaling
  • Advanced Firefighting
  • Leadership and Teamworking

Optional Training for STCW OICNW > 500 GT (II/5)

  • Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA)
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